A Tory MP has questioned the NHS' decision to offer free fertility treatment to trans men after reports that three British men are "on the brink" of becoming parents via IVF emerged.
According to the Daily Star
, Peter Bone, Tory MP for Willingborough, said: "I am not sure why the taxpayer should be funding this. I just sometimes ask if the NHS is getting its priorities right."
"At a time when NHS authorities across the country are having to ration cataract operations, hip replacements and even hearing aids to make ends meet, should taxpayers really be asked to fund fertility treatment so men can give birth?
"The NHS does not have endless pots of cash. It’s something that people could surely fund privately if they want to".
It's not known if the MP, who previously argued against same-sex marriage
by describing changing the definition of marriage as "rather like saying an apple is a pear", also believes IVF shouldn't be NHS-funded for others groups who are offered free fertility treatment after undergoing NHS procedures that impede fertility, such as cancer patients.
There have been a number of cases where trans men have their eggs frozen before beginning hormone therapy. These are then usually implanted into a surrogate, if he chooses to have his own biological children.
However in some circumstances, a man who was assigned female at birth may choose to get pregnant via IVF.
There have been cases of trans men getting pregnant and giving birth for a number of years. Back in 2007, American Thomas Beatie made headlines worldwide after falling pregnant.
Speaking about the issues he has faced as a trans man in an article for Advocate
, he said: "Our situation sparks legal, political, and social unknowns... Doctors have discriminated against us, turning us away due to their religious beliefs".
Dr James Barrett, one of Britain's most prominent gender identity experts defended fertility treatment for trans men, saying, “As a matter of principle, anybody who loses their fertility as a result of standard NHS treatment should be able to preserve their fertility.
"Why are people with cancer particularly magic and get [NHS fertility treatment], and other people don’t? Transgender patients want to live like normal people. They want what everybody else gets as a matter of course".
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